Updates to our Terms of Use

We are updating our Terms of Use. Please carefully review the updated Terms before proceeding to our website.

Tuesday, May 21, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Lawyer Says Governor’s Top Aides|Ordered All Emails Destroyed

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Gov. Matt Blunt's top aides last summer ordered all departments to delete potentially damaging emails, one of Blunt's former attorneys claims in Jackson County Court. Scott Eckersley says that Henry Herschel, Blunt's chief counsel at the time, called a meeting of staff attorneys and told them that "all email should be deleted" despite protests that the emails are public records.

Eckersley also claims that Ed Martin, Blunt's chief of staff, told staffers "to make sure they deleted their email in the both the inbox and trash files to ensure they did not have to be turned over to the press or public."

Blunt's aides also ordered the state's backup computer tapes to be destroyed and talked about communicating through Blackberry text messages that are not captured on email systems, the suit states.

Martin resigned and Herschel moved to another job, amid criticism of the administration's handling of emails.

Eckersley was fired as deputy counsel on Sept. 28. He claims he was fired after confrontations with Herschel and Martin about the emails. He accuses the administration of defaming him.

Blunt's office released a statement saying the lawsuit did not have merit and was political.

Blunt's aides have alleged that Eckersley was fired for poor performance, for conducting legal work for his father's health care company on state time, using drugs and using his state computer to access a sex site.

Follow @@joeharris_stl
Categories / Uncategorized

Subscribe to Closing Arguments

Sign up for new weekly newsletter Closing Arguments to get the latest about ongoing trials, major litigation and hot cases and rulings in courthouses around the U.S. and the world.